The Best Haiti Travel Guide – Haiti is one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets, but word is starting to get out on this island that has a uniquely French flavored creole culture. New hotels and investments are coming into Haiti as the island slowly recovers from a series of natural and economic disasters. Our Haiti Travel Guide with share the vibrant culture and nightlife, magnificent architectural attractions, and stunning natural beauty that Haiti has to offer. Haiti has two magnificent architectural attractions, Sans-Souci Palace, known as the Caribbean Versailles, and Citadelle la Ferriere, the largest fortress in the Caribbean. Both are near Cap-Haïtien, Haiti’s second-largest city. Port-au-Prince’s chaotic Iron Market is packed with stalls selling everything from fruit to religious totems. Haiti’s top natural attractions include Étang Saumâtre, a large saltwater lake with flamingos and crocodiles, and the Bassins Bleu, three deep blue pools linked by spectacular waterfalls.
Tranquil beaches, tumbling waterfalls and pine-tree-capped mountains dot the varied and striking landscape, easily rivaling the natural beauty found anywhere else in the Caribbean. The world’s only successful slave rebellion happened here, and the music, art and culture that came with it make Haiti entirely unique. As those who come to assist Haiti often learn, an encounter with the soul of this fascinating, beautiful country often benefits a traveler just as much. Our Haiti Travel Guide will provide you with everything you need to plan and book your beach vacation to Haiti. For more information the beautiful beaches of Haiti, visit our Greater Antilles Travel page, or visit us on Pinterest.
Haiti Weather – When to Visit
November to March has the hottest, driest days in most of the country (with the exception of some rain in the north). These months are ideal for travel due to attractions such as the countrywide Fet Gédé Vodou festival (November), and Carnival in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel (February). April to June there is quite a bit of rain in south Haiti, as well as in Port-au-Prince. Hurricane season lasts from August to October, and many days are humid with considerable rainfall. Still, travel is perfectly feasible if there are no big storms. The best time to visit Haiti is between June and August.
Top 5 Haiti Beaches
Gelee Beach has the longest and the most romantic stretch of sand and one of the best beaches in Haiti. The water are crystal clear, and the views alone are worth the visit. During high season, Gelee Beach usually turns into a concert venue with enthusiastic musicians and dancers giving all manner of traditional performances.
Kokoye Beach is one of the most idyllic beaches in Haiti, characterized by fine white sands, luscious palm trees, and turquoise waters whose appeal for a swim you won’t be able to resist. If you are looking for the best places for snorkeling or enjoying seaside activities away from the crowd, then this spot is perfect for you.
This beach is actually located on a little island covered with lush vegetation and surrounded on all sides by soft sands and gentle waves. There are various coral reefs to explore in the local waters, so it’s a super spot to do some scuba diving or snorkeling, but even if you’re not interested in getting into the water, Ils-a-Rat is one of the top beaches in Haiti to stroll around and take some super photographs.
Wahoo Bay Beach
Wahoo Bay Beach is one of the finest spots along the country’s entire coastline. Not far from Port-au-Prince, Wahoo Bay Beach offers the sort of views that wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard and really sums up the Caribbean experience with soft sands, warm waters, and lots of fun activities like diving, swimming, sunbathing, and even hiking among the local wilderness.
Jacmel Beach is located towards the southern shores of Haiti, and it is popular among both locals and tourists in need of a lively venue for hanging out and having fun. The beach was devastated by the terrible earthquake in 2010, but it has since been rebuilt and now making its way back to being the vibrant paradise it used to be, where locals and tourists could gather for a variety of special events and festivals.
Best Haiti Restaurants
Papaye $30 & Over
To experience the fresh, seasonal tastes that Haiti has to offer, stop into Papaye in Port-au-Prince. Generally believed to be the city’s best restaurant, Papaye has a fresh menu that focuses on both French food and Caribbean fusion. Regulars recommend you try the fish, the duck, or one of their crispy seasonal pizzas. Tel: 509 37 01 2707 TripAdvisor: Papaye
Lakou-Lakay $10 & Under
Lakou-Lakay is more than just a delightful place to enjoy a meal. This facility doubles as a hotel and Haitian cultural center, focusing on dance and music workshops for children and adults. In the restaurant itself you’ll find delicious local fare prepared by owner Etienne, who owns and manages this property which she inherited from her grandmother. Tel: 509 36 14 2485 Web: Lakou-Lakay
Quatier Latin $11 – 30
For a classic French experience in the heart of Haiti, take a seat at Quartier Latin. This classic brassier is the ideal stop for brunch and often offers live music in a delightful local ambiance. If you’re looking for a gift to commemorate your trip, check out their lovely boutique. Tel: 509 25 12 3325 Web: Quatier Latin
Magdoos $11 – 30
For a surprising and delicious Middle Eastern experience in the capital of Haiti, grab a seat at Magdoos. This popular restaurant specializes in tapas and Lebanese food and the owners source and grow many ingredients locally. Tel: 509 38 21 2121 Web: Magdoos
Portofino $11 – 30
Lauded as one of Haiti’s top restaurants, this Italian bistro offers a Haitian spin on Italian food with exquisite wood-fired pizzas and seafood pastas. The ambiance is cozy and the service has been rated as highly as the food. Finish your meal with a creamy gelato before heading out in the warmth of an island evening. Tel: 509 28 17 0365 Web: Portofino
Best Haiti Nightlife
Asú Rooftop Lounge
The place to see and be seen, Karibe Hôtel’s rooftop lounge is unquestionably Pétionville’s most fabulous venue to throw back a few cocktails – especially on Fridays. A fire pit, an elevated pool with colored lights, and crystal chandeliers all feed into the atmosphere of excess, and a permanently installed DJ booth starts pumping house music at around 10pm. Telephone: 509 28 19 2222 Web: Asu Rooftop Lounge.
Yes, you can get decent Mexican food here, and whole chickens, and Prestige, of course. But the main reason to come is that after dinner, this relatively unremarkable outdoor taco joint occasionally hosts wild parties and raves, with Haiti’s most talented DJs spinning. You might even need a password to get in. Telephone: 509 48 90 8226 Web: Tito’s Tacos.
This new, waterfront bar and restaurant is pirate-themed, with a spectacular view of Cap-Haïtien’s bay. It’s an ideal spot for a Haitian spaghetti breakfast or a burger, but even better for the late-night parties fueled by compas music and the potent Buccaneer punch. Telephone: 509 33 54 6344 Web: Boukanye.
Constructed of brick and stone, this low-lit drinking establishment offers the best rum sours around, along with regular salsa-dancing performances. Telephone: 509 34 86 9218 Web: La Taverne.
When I think of Haiti, i just think of the chaos and destruction caused by the various hurricanes that have hit the island in the past few years.
Reading your article has opened my eyes to the sheer beauty of this location. It appears to hold a rich culture and history that cannot compare to many other destinations. I was unaware of its beautiful beach and mountains. Mountains? Yep, that one surprised me a bit.
I visited the Dominican Republic a few years ago and loved it. Haiti may be somewhere I need to to some additional research on.
Haiti is beautiful. It is just as wonderful as the Dominican Republic and pretty much a bargain compared to other Caribbean destinations. Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
You made Haiti look so inviting and now I really want to go. You always think of Haiti as being this very poor country but it’s a beautiful place. Nice and tranquil and relaxing. Haiti is now on my bucket list of places to go on a vacation.
Great! Yes, it is a poor country but tourism really helps their economy and it is a beautiful country for sure. Thanks for reading the Haiti Travel Guide Phyllis!
Great cover article. You put a lot of thought and information into it covering multiple areas at once. I have learned some new information on Haiti and looks like a great cruise destination. Thanks for all you effort and I will bookmark your post 🙂 I look forward to reading about many more great destinations, you have a wealth of information!
Thank you so much for reading and glad you enjoyed! Yes, most people don’t realize what a gem Haiti is. Actually I used to think the same thing too, but it is a wonderful beach destination. Thanks for reading my Haiti Travel Guide!
I love to travel. I’ve been to a lot of destinations like Europe, Hawaii the Caribbean and cruises. I’ve never been to Haiti though this is on my list of places I want to see. And after reading your post on Haiti it makes me want to go even more. In fact I think I will make it my next vacation. You were very thorough in your article you covered just about everything a travel needs to know from how to get around where to eat and the main attractions. Do you have any recommendations on the best resorts to stay at that are a 5 star? The videos on Haiti were great I enjoyed watching them and reading this article too. Thanks for the post.
I am glad you enjoyed. The hotels I listed in the post are the BEST picks for Haiti. They are the top rated hotels by guests. No 5 star resorts, but all of them are 4.5 stars, which in my book is pretty highly rated! Thanks for visiting my Haiti Travel Guide.
I am a cruise specialist and Haiti is a very popular destination for cruise ships. My guests often ask me what there is to do in Haiti and I many times they don’t really explore the island.
Your information will come in really handy next time someone asks me the question.
Great! I am glad I can help. It is funny because I have been looking at cruises for me and my son. I see some with Haiti on the Itinerary, and before I researched Haiti, I crossed any of these cruises off the list! Now, I will pretty much go anywhere on a cruise. Specifically looking into Eastern Caribbean cruises! Thanks for visiting Flavia!
If you did not write this post about Haiti, I would not know that the island has all this to offer visitors. Even though I live in the Caribbean and a short flight to Haiti, I have never visited because of all the negative remarks being said about the island. Now that this post has shown the picturesque scenery of the island, I will be planning a trip soon. I will bookmark this Haiti Travel Guide page.
Thank you Carol, and yes most people do not know how beautiful Haiti is or what it really has to offer. I am glad my Haiti Travel Guide showed you just how much beauty there is! Please let me know if you have any questions.
I’ve always wanted to go to the Great Haiti! Now that I know that the hottest months are between Nov-March and according to my calendar that’s coming up! I’m seriously contemplating spending Christmas there with my fiance! The taxi rides you described sound like they would be a great place to learn where’s good to eat for us vegetarians. Bassin Bleu looks amazing, I better start saving up for this trip I’m suddenly planning lol! It honestly would be a great present for anyone looking to get away for part of the North American winter.
I agree! It is actually very reasonable to vacation there. And they have wonderful beaches, great food, and lots and lots of stuff to explore.
This island looks astonishing! I never really looked into visiting Haiti but after reading this, I definitely am wanting to visit there someday.
One restaurant you listed that caught my attention is Boukanye which I am interested in visiting for the theme.
The Off Road Haiti also sounds like it would be a blast to me and I would like to give that a whirl as well. There seems to be so many areas and things to do there that I would be interested in going for.
My question is, what areas did you find to be most interesting that you would recommend visitors going first?
Also, are there any activities (like maybe skydiving) that you would recommend others giving a try if they got a chance?
Well, everything I have listed is the best of the best. The best restaurants, the best things to do, the best hotels. If you stick to my list, you will have a blast…assuming your tastes are similar 🙂 Thank you for reading, and yes most people would not associate Haiti with a beautiful beach vacation!
I would never have thought of Haiti as a holiday destination, but I don’t know why! It looks amazing and thank you for bringing it to my attention. Normally, you get tried and tested holiday resorts offered by the big boys and they’re all the same, so to bring a destination to our attention that’s as diverse, vibrant and exotic as Haiti is well worth investigation! Thanks for your post – it’s got me thinking…..!
You know and Haiti is actually a great beach destination with so many wonderful beaches, great food, and lost of interesting things to do and see. It is well worth checking into for sure!
I love your website. It has loads of information on traveling to the beautiful destination of Haiti.
I was considering a vacation here, so am glad I found this information and I can plan accordingly.
I did not know there were so many beautiful beaches there. Is there a best time to travel to Haiti?
Thank you Jalla! I am glad you found everything you need to start planning your vacation. The weather is at its best during the dry spell from November through to March and this is generally considered the best time to visit Haiti. Please let me know if you need any other information.
This is a great review/information page on Haiti. A lot of good tips here as well as recommendations. One would be wise to take the tips on hotel booking. Things can get messy and it doesn’t hurt to take precautions, especially when traveling to a third world nation. It is a very poor population where I believe around 77% of the people are in poverty so precautions of all sorts are a good thing to keep in mind.
Most definitely need to take precautions. Haiti is very beautiful and it can be a great vacation experience. Just have to be smart and plan ahead.
Quite an informative post. In places such as Haiti, there is very rich culture. One way to experience the culture is via taxis. Most of the taxis are mini-buses where you travel with other passengers. You do get to see how people live and interact with each other. For many tourists this is culture shock, but it can be a great deal of fun and quite memorable if you go with the flow. The people are also super-friendly, so it is easy to communicate and have fun.
I like this post because it sheds light on a place that is not usually the first choice for a Caribbean destination, but it is every bit as worth as the well-known ones.
It is every bit as worth going to as an other Caribbean destination for sure! Haiti is one of those places that most would not think to go to, but they have so much to offer besides all of their beautiful beaches 🙂 Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.